The Effect of 7 Weeks Lockdown to English League

The announcement of the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, regarding the lockdown of his country for the next seven weeks due to Covid-19 on Monday (4/1/2021), has an effect on the local football scene. Amateur and semi-professional football competitions in England were immediately suspended for the time being. Similarly the postponements of several women’s football competition agendas occurred.

The suspension of football activities based on the lockdown decision was applied to competitions at the seventh level and below in the English League pyramid or also known as the National League. The termination also applies to all match agendas involving youth teams from that level of competition, at least until mid-February.

For professional competitions from the sixth level to the top level of the Premier League, namely the Premier League, the suspension of competition due to the national lockdown does not apply. Professional and elite leagues in the pyramid of English football competitions are allowed to continue their normal activities, including undergoing open training sessions at their respective clubs. This feature also means that a number of football matches this week, such as the Premier League Cup semifinals and the FA Cup third round, will take place as planned.

On the other hand, competitions such as the Premier League and leagues at a lower level have experienced the direct impact of the spike in the rate of Covid-19 transmission in the UK since the end of 2020. The results of the routine Covid-19 test by the Premier League in the past two weeks, for example, showed the highest positive sample throughout this season with the findings of 18 cases from 1,479 players and staff examined. Even during the rolling of the Premier League 2020-2021 season to date, there has been a decision to postpone four matches regarding the Covid-19 transmission case.

Furthermore, a total of 52 matches in lower divisions (or within the scope of the EFL) were postponed due to similar reasons. As many as seven of the 52 matches that had to be postponed because of the risk of exposure to the corona virus, were originally due to take place at the end of last week. For the record, English professional football competitions, including the Premier League, have experienced delays and termination of competition due to Covid-19.

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